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Nov 19, 2015

Hungry children fed every day

Elizabeth loves to tend our thriving vegetables.
Elizabeth loves to tend our thriving vegetables.

Thank you so much for your interest in and support of the nutritional programs at Makindu Children’s Centre. Information below outlines how the nutritional program fed the orphaned and AIDS affected children this past quarter.

General stats

  • 1800+ children received services from MCC in the past quarter.
  • MCC covers the villages of Makindu, Kiboko, Kamboo, Twaandu and Nguumo. Nguumo has four subsites: Kaunguni, Ndovoini, Muuni and Syumile.
  • Makindu has 472 children with 197 guardians.
  • Muni has 177 children with 75 guardians.
  • Kaunguni has 175 children with 75 guardians.
  • Ndovoini has 98 children with 61 guardians.
  • Syumile has 137 children with 60 guardians.
  • Kamboo has 164 children with 73 guardians.
  • Twaandu has 275 children with 137 guardians.
  • Kiboko has 303 guardians with 143 guardians.

Food & Nutrition News

  • Centre feeding is key to the health and well-being of the MCC children. At least 110 children received a meal daily at the Centre.
  • Another 180 children are provided with meals on the weekends.
  • 1,450 children received a meal at MCC’s celebration for International Children’s Day. These children were also dewormed and given mineral supplements.
  • The borehole continues to irrigate the shamba (farm) and the corn, beans, kale and other vegetables are thriving. High value crops such as tomatoes have been planted and with the dry region, mature ready for market in a short time. The guardians donate much of their time tending the shamba while the kids are in school. MCC provides those guardians who donate their time and labor with a small plot within the shamba to tend as their own.
  • MCC currently has 3 dairy cows that have been producing milk to boost the children’s nutritional intake. The rest of the milk is sold to the community.
  • The poultry farm is being renovated and will soon be producing eggs and chicks to help sustain the nutrition program. Eggs provide essential protein to the diet, so desperately lacking in the malnourished children.
  • The entire program has 19 self-help groups, some of which relate to nutrition. Goat Keeping, Bee Keeping, and Poultry Rearing are popular.

 

ASANTE SANA!

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Sep 1, 2015

Begging for food

On International Children's Day, June 1, 2015, Makindu Children's Program fed 1,450 orphaned children a nutritional meal of rice, beans, maize, and fresh garden vegetables. For many, this meal was the biggest one they will eat all year, certainly the most nutritious one they will eat.

One of the children fed that day was named Mbinya. Mbinya says she will always live to cherish Makindu Children's Program and the support offered to her that day. Mbinya is the first born of seven children, and is now 17 years old. Both of her parents died of AIDS in 2011. She and her siblings were taken in by an uncle who works as a nightwatchman in a different town and her alcoholic grandmother. The uncle's wife died of AIDS in 2012 leaving Mbinya the responsibility of taking care of her six siblings plus her uncle's two children as well as running the household while the uncle was at work. The grandmother left them to fend for themselves and moved to a different town. Mbinya would then, on a daily basis, walk from house to house begging for food. Her uncle's meager earnings weren't enough to feed everyone, let alone pay for any of them to attend school or get new clothes or shoes. While begging in the streets, she heard of a charity meal being offered to orphaned children on International Children's Day. Tired, filthy and in rags, Mbinya gathered up her siblings and cousins and went to find this charity meal. The bounty of food offered was overwhelming and the kids ate to their heart's (and belly's) content. Mbinya talked with one of the Makindu staff and shared her troubles. Makindu staff then set the family up with weekly food rations and an open invitation to walk the 10 or so kilometers to the Center for a meal, a bath and laundry services. Makindu staff were also able to give Mbinya some seeds to grow her own vegetables to help supplement their food rations.

By feeding Mbinya, her six siblings and her two cousins, Makindu Children's Program has given them all HOPE for a better future, reassurance that someone cares, and the warmth and satisfaction that accompanies a belly full of nutritious food. We could not have fed them without your support. Thank you for your past generosity and for caring about the hundreds of innocent starving children in rural Kenya.

We ARE making a difference!

May 26, 2015

Combatting malnutrition

Mutenthya in April, terribly malnourished
Mutenthya in April, terribly malnourished

Malnutrition is an inherent problem throughout Kenya, which is further complicated by many political, social and economic factors. Makindu has been a drought-stricken area for the last few years now, with meager rainfall destroying annual hope for reasonable harvests and subsequently the chance to feed families and children.

There are two forms of malnutrition present in Africa. "Marasmus" is secondary to a total depetion of calories and produces the typical skeletal, ghostly bodies seen in refugee camps. "Kwashiorkor" is more frequently seen in Kenya, and is due to a relative lack of protein within the diet. Children with kwashiorkor can initially look deceptively healthy, as they are often swollen with more full features, but are suffering from a profound weakness, lethargy, and often with major body system failure. Kwashiorkor in children presents a servere threat: if they survive at all, they frequently have life-long complications of growth or mental retardation, bony and muscular weakness, and weakened heart and other organs. When malnutrition is severe enough, it causes a weakened immune system. This in turn makes the children much more susceptible, and unfortunately they often die of relatively minor illnesses.

Makindu Children's Program offers a daily nutritious meal to the children. This meal is generally a vitamin and protein rich porridge supplemented by fresh vegetables and beans grown at Makindu Children's Centre. The children also receive at least one glass of milk daily.  After as little as four months of daily nutrition, a malnourished child will be transformed into healthy happier child. Jaundiced skin will be replaced with a healthy glow.Vacant eyes will sparkle with joy and hope. Patchy thin and dull hair will grow thick and shine. Weak and plaintive cries are replaced with giggles, squeals and laughter. With a cost of just 50 cents a day to feed a child, we can save him from malnutrition and possible starvation with as little as $60.    

Mutenthya came to Makindu malnourished, anemic and listless. Four months later she was transformed into a giggling, bubbly, happy and energetic youngster. Makindu Children's Centre provided Mutenthya - and hundreds of other children like her - with food, love, basic medical care, caring encouragement and advocacy. These are all such simple interventions, and now Mutenthya and the others have a real chance for a future. They have HOPE.

Mutenthya in August, happy and healthy
Mutenthya in August, happy and healthy
Food is life.
Food is life.

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